Well day one back at work and I'm taking calls, answering txt's and emails, scheduling the weeks ahead, and I went home for lunch. As I do every year after holidays, I'm trying to get into the right place of eating regularly. So today Day One, I have eaten regularly.
Trying to be determined to keep the important things before the urgent things, and that means doing the things that don't always produce effective change immediately. Instead doing the things underneath, that will change attitudes, approaches, and in the end, produce good fruit. It requires real discipline, and occasionally some pushback as people who want results now, won't always appreciate that approach.
One of the treats of this break has been to be able to visit different churches and to have the chance to share life with a few pastors along the way. My initial oversimple conclusions are that some churches are blessed with good pastors/preachers and gifted leaders, yet they are small safe groups where God is at work. Then I've been at church meetings where the pastor/preacher sermon seems fairly thin and he is reserved and introverted and yet they seem to be growing in numbers.
The real secret is that there is no real secret.
Different flowers grow differently in different dirt and sky and weather. It is what it is.
But there is some deep pain out there associated with churches and what they expect and how they treat their pastors. One pastor, so burned and tired and seeming so lost that I encouraged him to think about doing something else with his days. Really. Persecution for the work of Christ may not be as it was in the early history of the church, but it is real and it is out there. And most often it comes from within the church.
The pressure on these men and women is real, and they/we are just human beings most often doing our best.
But I'm glad to be back home. It's good here, well, except for all the snow.
And no, I didn't candidate anyplace else, and I didn't go talking with other churches. I'm here for the foreseeable future and I took it as a compliment that some of you were worried I might be looking elsewhere. :)
For now you're stuck with me, so you best be praying for me, as I am praying for you.